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gramps - Genealogical Research and Analysis Management Programming System.


gramps [-?|--help] [--usage] [--version] [-l] [-u|--force-unlock] [-O|--open= DATABASE
[-f|--format= FORMAT]] [-i|--import= FILE [-f|--format= FORMAT]] [-i|--import= ...]
[-e|--export= FILE [-f|--format= FORMAT]] [-a|--action= ACTION] [-p|--options=
OPTIONSTRING]] [ FILE ] [--version]


Gramps is a Free/OpenSource genealogy program. It is written in Python, using the
GTK+/GNOME interface. Gramps should seem familiar to anyone who has used other genealogy
programs before such as Family Tree Maker (TM), Personal Ancestral Files (TM), or the GNU
Geneweb. It supports importing of the ever popular GEDCOM format which is used world wide
by almost all other genealogy software.


gramps FILE
When FILE is given (without any flags) as a family tree name or as a family tree
database directory, then it is opened and an interactive session is started. If
FILE is a file format understood by Gramps, an empty family tree is created whose
name is based on the FILE name and the data is imported into it. The rest of the
options is ignored. This way of launching is suitable for using gramps as a handler
for genealogical data in e.g. web browsers. This invocation can accept any data
format native to gramps, see below.

-f,--format= FORMAT
Explicitly specify format of FILE given by preceding -i, or -e option. If the -f
option is not given for any FILE, the format of that file is guessed according to
its extension or MIME-type.

Formats available for export are gramps-xml (guessed if FILE ends with .gramps),
gedcom (guessed if FILE ends with .ged), or any file export available through the
Gramps plugin system.

Formats available for import are grdb, gramps-xml, gedcom, gramps-pkg (guessed if
FILE ends with .gpkg), and geneweb (guessed if FILE ends with .gw).

Formats available for export are gramps-xml, gedcom, gramps-pkg, wft (guessed if
FILE ends with .wft), geneweb, and iso (never guessed, always specify with -f

-l Print a list of known family trees.

Unlock a locked database.

-O,--open= DATABASE
Open DATABASE which must be an existing database directory or existing family tree
name. If no action, import or export options are given on the command line then an
interactive session is started using that database.

-i,--import= FILE
Import data from FILE. If you haven't specified a database, then an empty database
is created for you called Family Tree x (where x is an incrementing number).

When more than one input file is given, each has to be preceded by -i flag. The
files are imported in the specified order, i.e. -i FILE1 -i FILE2 and -i FILE2 -i
FILE1 might produce different gramps IDs in the resulting database.

-e,--export= FILE
Export data into FILE. For gramps-xml, gedcom, wft, gramps-pkg, and geneweb, the
FILE is the name of the resulting file.

When more than one output file is given, each has to be preceded by -e flag. The
files are written one by one, in the specified order.

-a,--action= ACTION
Perform ACTION on the imported data. This is done after all imports are
successfully completed. Currently available actions are summary (same as
Reports->View->Summary), check (same as Tools->Database Processing->Check and
Repair), report (generates report), and tool (runs a plugin tool). Both report and
tool need the OPTIONSTRING supplied by the -p flag).

The OPTIONSTRING should satisfy the following conditions:
It must not contain any spaces. If some arguments need to include spaces, the
string should be enclosed with quotation marks, i.e., follow the shell syntax.
Option string is a list of pairs with name and value (separated by the equality
sign). The name and value pairs must be separated by commas.

Most of the report or tools options are specific for each report or tool. However,
there are some common options.

This mandatory option determines which report or tool will be run. If the supplied
name does not correspond to any available report or tool, an error message will be
printed followed by the list of available reports or tools (depending on the

This will produce the list of names for all options available for a given report or

This will print the description of the functionality supplied by optionname, as
well as what are the acceptable types and values for this option.

Use the above options to find out everything about a given report.

When more than one output action is given, each has to be preceded by -a flag. The actions
are performed one by one, in the specified order.

-d,--debug= LOGGER_NAME
Enables debug logs for development and testing. Look at the source code for details

Prints the version number of gramps and then exits


If the first argument on the command line does not start with dash (i.e. no flag), gramps
will attempt to open the file with the name given by the first argument and start
interactive session, ignoring the rest of the command line arguments.

If the -O flag is given, then gramps will try opening the supplied database and then work
with that data, as instructed by the further command line parameters.

With or without the -O flag, there could be multiple imports, exports, and actions
specified further on the command line by using -i, -e, and -a flags.

The order of -i, -e, or -a options does not matter. The actual order always is: all
imports (if any) -> all actions (if any) -> all exports (if any). But opening must always
be first!

If no -O or -i option is given, gramps will launch its main window and start the usual
interactive session with the empty database, since there is no data to process, anyway.

If no -e or -a options are given, gramps will launch its main window and start the usual
interactive session with the database resulted from all imports. This database resides in
the import_db.grdb under ~/.gramps/import directory.

The error encountered during import, export, or action, will be either dumped to stdout
(if these are exceptions handled by gramps) or to stderr (if these are not handled). Use
usual shell redirections of stdout and stderr to save messages and errors in files.


To open an existing family tree and import an xml file into it, one may type:
gramps -O 'My Family Tree' -i ~/db3.gramps

The above changes the opened family tree, to do the same, but import both in a temporary
family tree and start an interactive session, one may type:
gramps -i 'My Family Tree' -i ~/db3.gramps

To import four databases (whose formats can be determined from their names) and then check
the resulting database for errors, one may type:
gramps -i file1.ged -i file2.tgz -i ~/db3.gramps -i file4.wft -a check

To explicitly specify the formats in the above example, append filenames with appropriate
-f options:
gramps -i file1.ged -f gedcom -i file2.tgz -f gramps-pkg -i ~/db3.gramps -f gramps-
xml -i file4.wft -f wft -a check

To record the database resulting from all imports, supply -e flag (use -f if the filename
does not allow gramps to guess the format):
gramps -i file1.ged -i file2.tgz -e ~/new-package -f gramps-pkg

To import three databases and start interactive gramps session with the result:
gramps -i file1.ged -i file2.tgz -i ~/db3.gramps

To run the Verify tool from the commandline and output the result to stdout:
gramps -O 'My Family Tree' -a tool -p name=verify

Finally, to start normal interactive session type:


The program checks whether these environment variables are set:

LANG - describe, which language to use: Ex.: for polish language this variable has to be
set to pl_PL.UTF-8.

GRAMPSHOME - if set, force Gramps to use the specified directory to keep program settings
and databases there. By default, this variable is not set and gramps assumes that the
folder with all databases and profile settings should be created within the user profile
folder (described by environment variable HOME for Linux or USERPROFILE for Windows


Supports a python-based plugin system, allowing import and export writers, report
generators, tools, and display filters to be added without modification of the main

In addition to generating direct printer output, report generators also target other
systems, such as OpenOffice.org, AbiWord, HTML, or LaTeX to allow the users to modify the
format to suit their needs.


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